Monthly Archives: August 2023

ICMP & Ukrainian Authorities Sign Protocol on Data Collection and Cooperation

Kyiv, 31 August 2023: On the International Day of the Disappeared, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the National Police of Ukraine (NPU) signed a Protocol that will enable the Main Investigative Department of the NPU to use the Integrated Data Management System (iDMS) developed by ICMP to process data to locate, reunify and identify people who have gone missing as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The signing of the Protocol marks the beginning of ICMP’s campaign to collect data from Ukrainian families residing outside of the country who have missing relatives from the ongoing war.

Under the Protocol, signed by ICMP Europe Director and Head of the Ukraine Program Matthew Holliday and Deputy Chairman of the National Police of Ukraine Maksym Tsutskiridze, the NPU will be able to access DNA profiles provided by relatives of missing persons and stored in the iDMS, as…

ICMP Marks International Day of the Disappeared

The Hague, 30 August 2023: – Throughout the world, authorities are bound by laws and agreements, such as the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to fulfill obligations towards families of the missing, including families of missing refugees and migrants. Marking the International Day of the Disappeared, International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Director-General Kathryne Bomberger emphasized the responsibility of states: “Governments must secure the rights of victims and their families, regardless of their nationality, religion, or gender, or the circumstances of their disappearance.” They can fulfil this commitment “through coordinated action, including pooling resources, and through a strategy based on upholding the rule of law.” Failure by governments to account for missing persons is “a fundamental and corrosive violation of domestic and international law,” Ms Bomberger added.

ICMP Chairperson Knut Vollebaek noted today that “in the last 25 years the capacity to locate and…

Book Describes Strategy to Secure Truth and Justice For Families of the Missing in Ukraine

Kyiv, 29 August 2023: Ukraine can account for tens of thousands of missing people if it takes steps to fill gaps in its institutional framework and encourages closer cooperation between families of the missing and the government agencies that have responsibility for addressing this issue, the Head of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Ukraine Program, Matthew Holliday, told reporters in Kyiv today.

Holliday was speaking at a press conference to present A Country of Missing People: Securing Justice and Truth for Families of the Missing in Ukraine, published by ICMP to mark International Day of the Disappeared. The book provides an overview of the missing persons issue in Ukraine. It reviews the steps that Ukraine is already taking to address this issue, and shows in detail how an effective missing persons strategy can secure truth and justice for large numbers of families of the missing.

Holliday stressed the…

ICMP Working Closely with Authorities in Iraq to Account for Victims of 2014 Massacre

Baghdad, 18 August 2023: On 15 August 2014, in the village of Kojo in the Sinjar region of Iraq, Yazidi residents were massacred by Da’esh; women and children were abducted. Many of the victims are still missing.

Speaking on the anniversary of this crime, the Director General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Kathryne Bomberger, described the Kojo massacre as “a stark and painful reminder” of the absolute necessity of pursuing justice, truth, and accountability, and she said ICMP would continue to help the Iraqi authorities to locate, recover, and identify victims.

“Nine years ago, the Yazidi community faced a devastating onslaught fueled by hatred,” Bomberger said. “Today, ICMP is working closely with the Iraqi National Team – the Martyrs’ Foundation Department of Mass Graves Affairs and Protection, the Medico-Legal Directorate of the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs – to uphold the right…

ICMP Supports Iraq Data Collection in Duhok to Identify Victims of Atrocities

Duhok, 4 August 2023 — The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) provided support to the Directorate for Protection and Affairs of Mass Graves (MGD) of the Martyrs’ Foundation and  the Medico-Legal Directorate (MLD) of the Ministry of Health during a family reference sample collection campaign carried out from 22 to 31 July in Shariyah, Duhok, in coordination with the Commission for Investigation and Gathering Evidence (CIGE) of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The genetic references samples collected from Yezidi families of the missing will be matched to genetic profiles obtained from victims recovered from mass and clandestine graves.

“This scientifically proven method of identification is a central element in the broader process of upholding the rights of families in Iraq to truth, justice, and reparations,” said Alexander Hug, the Head of ICMP’s Iraq Program.

The Iraqi Government estimates that between 250,000 and more than one million people are missing in the country…

The Rights of Yazidi Survivors of Atrocities to Justice Must be Secured

Baghdad, 3 August 2023 Speaking on the ninth anniversary of crimes committed by Da’esh against the Yazidi population in Iraq, the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Kathryne Bomberger, said ICMP will continue working with the families of victims and with the responsible authorities in Iraq to secure truth, justice, and reparations for survivors.

On 3 August 2014, Da’esh invaded Sinjar, killing thousands of people and abducting thousands more of the Yazidi community members, many of those who were abducted are still missing.

“The impact of these heinous crimes continues to reverberate, leaving countless families searching for answers about the fate of their missing loved ones,” Ms. Bomberger said. “On this somber anniversary, we remember the victims of the genocide, and we salute the courage and resilience of the Yazidi families who are searching for their loved ones. ICMP is committed to supporting the effort to account…